April 14, 2015

HIRONO VOTES TO STRENGTHEN MEDICARE & EXTEND HEALTH INSURANCE PROTECTION FOR HAWAII KIDS

Washington, D.C. – Senator Mazie K. Hirono released the following statement on the Senate’s passage of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015. The measure passed both the House and the Senate with overwhelming bipartisan majorities, passing in 329-37 and 92-8, respectively.

"This is compromise legislation, and while it’s not perfect, it has a number of provisions that are good for Hawaii. Medicare, the Children’s Health Improvement Program (CHIP), and our community health centers are essential to ensuring that Hawaii’s kupuna, keiki, and hard working families can get the health care they need. The bill extends the CHIP program, including coverage for COFA children and pregnant women, for two years and provides substantial funding for community health centers. It also permanently reforms the flawed system that has caused uncertainty for Medicare patients and doctors for over 10 years.

"Despite these benefits, there is still work to be done. I cosponsored amendments that would have extended the CHIP program and community health center funding for 4 years, eliminated unnecessary caps on physical therapy for our kupuna and strengthened access to women’s health care. While I was disappointed that these amendments were defeated, I will continue to keep fighting to improve health care for Hawaii’s families and communities."